Tired of sitting in the cold dark fog that haunts the Columbia Basin during winter? Climb above the inversion on a sunny snowshoe or cross-country ski trip with the InterMountain Alpine Club.
Friendly and experienced I-MAC members have led trips from the Tri-Cities into the Cascade and Blue mountain ranges since the 1950s. They know the way to some of the most scenic and safe spots in the region.
Members and guests can contact leaders to inquire about going on a trip. Our welcome committee will make sure that adventurers new to the club will feel at home. For more information, go to the club’s website to view the activities calendar, photo gallery, membership page and more. Similar information is at the club’s Facebook page.
Ski and snowshoe rentals are available from the club. Call Jim Langdon at 943-3992.
Upcoming events include:
▪ Gold Hill cross country and snowshoe, Jan. 30-31
Jim Langdon has led trips to the Gold Hill cabin just east of Chinook Pass for years.
“The cabin is two miles and 800 feet of rise from the Chinook Pass Highway, not far from the pass,” Langdon said. “We will drive up (Highway) 410 as far as the road is plowed, then we ski or snowshoe the two miles up an unplowed Forest Service road to get to the cabin.”
Above it is a valley full of enjoyable snowshoeing, ski touring or ski mountaineering. These tours can be taken Saturday and Sunday, including trips to the crest for views of mountains Adams, Rainier and St. Helens, and the Crystal Mountain Ski Area.
Adventurers pack in the fresh food Jim provides. Everyone should bring a sleeping bag, flashlight, cabin shoes, Saturday lunch, a normal daypack and personal gear. The cabin has bunk beds upstairs and a few places on the fold-out couches downstairs. Bring clothing for anything from blizzards to rainy conditions.
Skiing or snowshoeing experience is not necessary, but you must be in good enough shape to make it into the cabin. Beginning skiers should be warned that the route out is on a road and is sometimes fast.
If the snow conditions are not good, you can walk back to the cars, which takes about an hour.
Sign-ups are limited to 12 people. This is the only Gold Hill trip scheduled this season.” Call Langdon at 509-943-3992.
▪ Nine Mile Ridge Cross Country Ski, Feb. 6
Leader George Hunt said the trip to Nine Mile Ridge is a challenging one. The ridge runs away off the backside of Horseshoe Prairie.
“With good snow, we will go some ways out on the ridge and have views down the drainage system,” Hunt said. “We head back uphill towards the prairie. Again the snow and weather conditions dictate how far we go and how much work getting back will be.”
Bring extra clothes to put on for breaks or changing weather, sunblock and sunglasses.
Also bring snacks, lunch and two quarts of fluid. Depending on the length of time it takes to complete the hike, a food stop might be made on the way back. Call Hunt at 943-5257.
▪ Pacific Crest Trail at White Pass, Feb. 6
Leader George Meriwether said that this snowshoe trip is moderately difficult that goes north from White Pass.
“The hike is about seven miles roundtrip with about 800 feet elevation gain,” Meriwether said. “We will head to Deer and Sand Lakes, have lunch at Sand Lake, and head back to the cars the same way.”
Snowshoes can be rented from the club or at Sporthaus in Kennewick.
Bring lunch, at least 2 liters of water, other essentials, and gear to be ready for for blizzards and rainy conditions.
Email Meriwether at firstname.lastname@example.org
▪ Anthony Lakes snowshoe and cross country ski, March 12-13
Chuck Wierman will lead an easy cross country ski or snowshoe outing on the trails at Anthony Lakes with an overnight in Baker City.
The high-elevation trek features the gateway into the Elkhorn Mountains of Oregon that lie southeast of the lake from the Blue Mountains. Dry snow and sunshine are almost guaranteed.